Meet the Sullivans: January 2018

January 16, 2018

Taking an Educational Approach to Summer Camps

It's not even February and I'm already thinking of how we'll fill the long weeks of summer! Everyone knows that if you want in on the coveted summer camp spots you have to start planning well in advance.

In our area there are a few basic places people often send their kids to camp, but they're usually over-priced and reserving a spot usually includes staying up until 12:01am to snatch it -- neither of which are my thing. There are so many great spots to find summer camps for your kids, you just have to think outside the box!

I've been doing a little research and here are a few places you can look for camps and ideas with an educational approach to fun!

1. STEM Camps - STEM camps, like the ones offered at Snapology, promote creative play, teamwork and social skills through activities geared toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Snapology are engaged a variety of theme-focused activities while learning engineering and math principles. Snapology’s goal is to put purpose to their building through blueprinting and idea sharing. Their themed programs use LEGO® bricks, K’Nex  and other interactive building toys to engage children and spark their creativity.

2. Children's Museums - Museums aren't the first place you think of when you think educational summer camps, since they're mostly indoors, but they often have some really fun and creatively-themed camps available for school aged children. If you have a membership to the museum you pay be able to get priority registration or even a discount -- don't be afraid to ask!

3. Outdoor Adventure Camps & Classes - We've signed Owen up for a couple outdoor adventure camps over the years. For example he learned to ride his bike at his Lear to Bike camp two years ago and we both enjoyed the hiking class we took together and all of the fun outdoor areas we were able discover.

4. Zoo Camps - Our local zoos offer an amazing and educational approach to summer camps every summer with their day camp adventures! Animal loving campers delve deeper into the science behind wildlife conservation and hands-on experiences.

So what summer camps are you signing up for this year? I'd love to hear all about them in the comments below!

January 10, 2018

Christmas 2017

Hey there, and happy 2018! School is back in session and we're back to our regular routine. We had a lovely Christmas, here's a little look back...

The boy's opened the final door on their Advent calendars (from Trader Joe's) on Christmas Eve right after lunchtime. They begged every morning to open those things. Looking back at all these photos really makes me miss our Christmas decorations, especially seeing all the cute Christmas cards. 

I turned our Christmas card from this year into an ornament using Shutterfly. I'm hoping to make this a tradition so someday I'll have a collection of all our cards.

I hosted some of my girlfriends from high school at our house for our Girls' Christmas party. We've been having these get togethers for 19 years! We eat, drink champagne and do a gift exchange. This year we each brought a nice candle and did the Left-Right Christmas Game to exchange our gifts. Basically, you read a story or poem (see link) and whenever it says "left" or "right" you pass the gift that way. It was a fun way to change things up a bit!

We hung out at home all day on Christmas Eve, baked cookies for Santa, made foods to bring for Christmas Eve and both boys took naps that inevitably made us so late we had to skip Mass. Keith and I were bummed to miss Mass this year, but we were glad the boys were able to get some rest with all the fun that lay ahead of them.

We went to Keith's mom's house with his whole family for Christmas Eve. We played, ate a ton (I made scalloped potatoes which is becoming a tradition for me) and did our gift exchange. We did a Secret Santa exchange with Keith's family this year, which works well since there are SO many of us.

We changed the boys into their Christmas pj's and headed home around 9:30, which is late for them. I thought they would fall asleep in the car but to my surprise they both stayed awake. After the boys were in bed Keith and I played Santa, he assembled the trampoline we gave them and I filled stockings.

In the morning we came down and the boys (especially Owen!) dug into the gifts before we could even suggest starting with the stockings. Owen got a few Nerf guns, a Nerf vest, some action figures and a couple other fun things. Luke got an etch-a-sketch, a toy piano, sand toys and a colorful ball. We had cookies, cinnamon buns, berries and bacon for breakfast and lazed around until it was time to head to my grandpa's house for dinner.

We stayed there until about 8 o'clock and we were all spent, full and exhausted!

I hope you had a lovely holiday!